According to 20 Something Finance in an article they published last year, the top 10 occupations hit by layoffs were mostly construction trades and factory jobs. The government has seen this over and over again and has a system in place to retrain them and find them jobs fairly quickly. But, the group not mentioned on the list 20 Something Finance created (and overlooked by the government because of lack of programs) were the hundreds of thousands of bankers, marketers, engineers, architects, finance gurus, professional assistants, IT gurus, firemen and other highly skilled and experienced professionals that found themselves receiving buyouts and layoffs.
The government unemployment system looks at them and asks themselves what they should do with a person who is already educated, already skilled and has years and years of experience in a professional atmosphere. After all, aren’t professionals suppose to be bullet proof?
The government does a great job of supporting people via welfare and unemployment programs, but they lose track of who’s been on the system (or abusing it) for long periods of time. They also have little to no advice for professionals who have spent two years applying for every job they could find. I have heard more than one professional tell me they have applied for jobs at the local retail store just to find a way to at least feed their family – only to be told that they were “overqualified” or would have to accept a fraction of their previous jobs pay.
What the governments big wheels have overlooked is the fact that tens of thousands of businesses have laid off entire departments – marketing, accounting, finance – all gone. BUT, they still need the work completed. by someone who understands what they are doing, but doesn’t need valuable office space or medical insurance. In other words. They need to pay a professional without having all of the additional expenses. Most businesses who have had to lay off their “departments” still require the help of such professionals. They need freelancers.
Most professionals have been in an office environment when a freelancer or consultant showed up to complete a task. While many have seen it in action, they have no idea how to do it for themselves or find themselves scared at the thought.
They need training.
In this economy, when professionals can’t find traditional work, they need to know how to freelance, get contracts and offer their professional services to those that need it. Rather than offering their expertise to one person (a j.o.b.) they can offer themselves to hundreds of clients who need work at various times.
I have not seen a single government (tax payer) funded program that teaches people how to be out of the machine, how to be independent (other than small businesses) or supports professionals with a reasonable education (no, not the 2 year kind of education … a week long class kind of education) on finding clients and building a business.
There are hundreds of thousands of businesses looking for freelancers or contract professionals. There are hundreds of thousands of unemployed professionals trying to figure out how to make it in a world that doesn’t employ them.
It’s time to see freelancing become a viable option for those that can’t find work. Let’s get to it.